Cell-sized confinement controls generation and stability of a protein wave for spatiotemporal regulation in cells

Shunshi Kohyama, Natsuhiko Yoshinaga, Miho Yanagisawa, Kei Fujiwara, Nobuhide Doi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The Min system, a system that determines the bacterial cell division plane, uses changes in the localization of proteins (a Min wave) that emerges by reaction-diffusion coupling. Although previous studies have shown that space sizes and boundaries modulate the shape and speed of Min waves, their effects on wave emergence were still elusive. Here, by using a microsized fully confined space to mimic live cells, we revealed that confinement changes the conditions for the emergence of Min waves. In the microsized space, an increased surface-tovolume ratio changed the localization efficiency of proteins on membranes, and therefore, suppression of the localization change was necessary for the stable generation of Min waves. Furthermore, we showed that the cell-sized space strictly limits parameters for wave emergence because confinement inhibits both the instability and excitability of the system. These results show that confinement of reaction-diffusion systems has the potential to control spatiotemporal patterns in live cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere44591
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jul 1


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)

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